Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This 1929 black and white silent film was made in Soviet Georgia, but was only released in the Soviet Union in 1976, and was given worldwide release in 1989. Set in a factory, this comic story tells a tale of time-wasting and incompetence rivalling that in Chaplin's Modern Times. The factory head (A. Takaishvili) is so incompetent that he manages to lose his job, much to the dismay of his free-spending wife (B. Chepnova). He discovers that he will be unable to get a new job without a "grandmother," which is a slang term for the use of influence and privilege. In desperation, he finally manages to wrest a recommendation from an acquaintance. However, when he applies for the job indicated by his efforts, a huge figure resembling Lenin, who is "the representative of the workers," rejects his application. The close of the film features titles with the slogans "Death to Bureaucrats!" "Death to Red Tape!" and similar sentiments. It is not difficult to understand why this social comedy was suppressed for nearly fifty years.
bureaucracy, factory, unemployment